A good content marketing mission statement will include within it the answer to why you’re developing content in the first place. In this article, I’ll share with you how to include the why.
Allow me to summarize two sources of information that inform my understanding of how to capture a content marketing mission statement on paper.
First, Joe Pulizzi has a great article about content marketing mission statements that’s full of examples. It includes a basic template for the mission statement, which includes three things:
1) The core audience target
2) What will be delivered to the audience
3) The outcome for the audience
I like Pulizzi’s outline for its focus on the audience.
Second, Simon Sinek has an amazing TED Talk about a concept he calls the Golden Circle whereby he discusses how a company’s mission statement should start with why the business does what it does. Sinek says, “The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.”
The template for a mission statement modeled after Sinek’s Golden Circle is:
1) Why do you do what you do? What’s your purpose or cause? What do you believe?
2) How do you do what you do? What’s your process or the actions you take to realize your purpose?
3) What do you do? How does what you actually do prove that you are realizing your purpose?
If you merge the contents of both these mission statement templates, you can develop a very meaningful content marketing mission statement.
To illustrate, I’ll create a draft for a project I’m working on now…
First, I’ll answer Sinek’s Golden Circle questions for an online course I’m working on that’s aimed at teaching adults how to introduce Spanish to English-speaking children.
1) Q: Why do you do what you do? A: We believe that two languages are better than one. Our purpose is to give the gift of a second language to children.
2) Q: How do you do what you do? A: We fulfill this purpose by teaching adults, even those who only speak English, how to introduce Spanish to the children they spend time with.
3) Q: What do you do? A: We provide a step-by-step online class that teaches adults how to share the Spanish language with children through songs, books and activities. Each lesson for the adult takes no more than 10 minutes and gives them something they can directly share with children in fun and engaging ways. By the end of the course, adults will know how to read and sing in Spanish and how to share Spanish books, music and activities with children.
That’s starting to sound pretty good, but it’s not specific enough to serve as a content marketing mission statement. That’s where Pulizzi’s template comes in. I’ll use it for the online course’s two primary audiences.
1) The core audience target – Parents in English-only households
2) What will be delivered to the audience – Content will encourage and motivate parents to give the gift of a second language to their children early in life.
3) The outcome for the audience – The parents and children will share a journey together to learn Spanish.
1) The core audience target – Spanish-speaking nannies in primarily English-speaking households
2) What will be delivered to the audience – Content will encourage and motivate Spanish-speaking nannies to use their Spanish language skills to give the gift of a second language to the children they care for.
3) The outcome for the audience – The Spanish-speaking nannies will increase their value to the families they work for by adding the role of educator to their duties. The children the nannies work with will learn more Spanish, faster.
As a final step, all I need to do is combine the content marketing needs for both audiences into one public facing mission statement:
Join us, together with other parents and caretakers, to get the encouragement and motivation that will help you give the gift of a second language to children. We strive to inspire you to teach Spanish to children, even if you’ve never taught it before or are just beginning to learn the language yourself.
I like how this mission statement gives content marketing the role of encouragement, motivation and inspiration. The actual how-to part of teaching Spanish to children is reserved as part of the online course, for a reasonable fee. As Chris Garrett at Copyblogger recently pointed out, it can be difficult for content marketers to decide what to charge for and what to give away for free. I like that this mission statement makes it clear.